People of Libya! Choose the deep blue sea, or: the devil

No body could predict what could he, be up to in the next jump of his personal whim and wish. However, in spite of his craziness, we Pakistanis had developed a penchant for him, so much so that the Cricket Stadium in Lahore was renamed as Qaddafi stadium after him. So too did many Pakistanis who named their kids after him as were the streets in different cities of Pakistan, all a symbol of people’s love for the Libyan leader.





by Nayyar Hashmey



Again its Mitha, my sweet friend from Calgary, Canada. He referred me this post; an interesting piece indeed for it allows us insight into the very complex persona of Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan dictator president.

 I do give in; the man has been a hero of my youth days, particularly for his strong, defiant stand against the Pentagon hegemonists.

 Late Pakistani prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had developed a special and personal rapport with the Libyan leader during the second International moot, the OIC member countries had in Lahore in 1974, the two leaders from the Muslim world, I mean the late King Shah Faisal of Saudia and Muammar Qaddafi of Libya had overnight become the hero of the Pakistani people.

 Those were the days when an Indian friend of mine [of his friendship am very proud of – even till this day], was studying in France and had a French girl friend. Her girl friend too was very fond of Qaddafi [much to the chagrin of my Indian friend who never liked her girl friend’s praise of Qaddafi].

 Even in those days many people took him as a crazy fellow. No body could predict what could he be up to in the next jump of his personal whim and wish. However, in spite of his craziness, we Pakistanis had developed a penchant for him, so much so that the Cricket Stadium in Lahore was renamed as Qaddafi stadium after him. So too did many Pakistanis who named their kids after him as were the streets in different cities of Pakistan, all a symbol of people’s love for the Libyan leader.

 He enjoyed the admiration and love of Pakistanis including myself for a pretty long time. Because of his special and personal friendship with late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he even pumped in millions to help the Jiyalas of the Pakistan Peoples Party who, to escape the wrath of the then dictator president Gen. Zia-ul-Haque had sought asylum in England.

  I don’t know about other Pakistanis but I at least was totally disappointed, when the same Qaddafi started spitting his craziness onto Pakistan as well.

Generally we in the East always like the macho men and he was of the type [the way he stood defiant against various US administrations]. As he says in this interview he also faced the bombardment by US on his tent where his young adopted daughter was killed by the US attackers.

 But the same defiant, intrepid Qaddafi turned into a meekling when in the reign of George Bush Jr. he buckled in before the US president, denouncing all for what he had taken a bold and defiant stand.  He finally admitted to the Americans that he was the man who was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing and in response paid billions to the families of those killed in the Lockerbie crash. So far so good. But then his craziness started extending to even declare Pakistan as a theocratic state [merely to please George Bush] and went further in telling the Americans that he was developing a nuclear bomb with the help of Pakistani scientists. Question is not that developing nuclear weapons is a good thing, the question is the bowing down of a hero merely because he now considered that by seeking the support of the US administration [whom he so heroically had opposed] he was able to perpetuate his dictatorship [which he indeed did] and that he had decided to abandon his programme, a decision that in the eyes of the US rendered him change from a demon to a decent guy.

 He also gave an interview where he made his quite idiosyncratic remarks about Pakistan as a religious state and referred the country’s exclusive raison d’être as religion and religion alone. It was these crazy remarks that made me scribe down my own thoughts rebutting his very foolish assessment of Pakistan now. [Readers interested in reading this interview with my own reaction to his diatribe can see this by taking this link here].

 Now this is a fact that he indeed turned Libya from a desert land into one of Africa’s most progressive nation, but then there is this human instinct that after bread and butter people do demand rights, rights to speak free, write free and to express opinions as to what sort of man, what sort of leader do they wish as their leader, not a self elevated dictator king who just names his own self as president of the republic.

 In the current spate of agitations that rock the whole of middle east including north African Muslim nations, the Libyans started a movement against him. In the beginning the whole world stood behind them but later when truth started coming out of the Libyan turmoil, it transpired that the movement for democracy has so meticulously been hijacked by the Pentagon that now it has become a battle between Qaddafi and the US.

 The US meddling is something which stands against the very international norms. America or for that matter no country whosoever, whatsoever, has any right to meddle in the affairs of another country. This struggle is squarely between the Libyan dictator and his people. Let the Libyans decide the fate of their country and its leadership to their own determination, whether they ultimately want the dictator to continue or replace him with a true democratic set up.

 In principle, I like any other democratic minded person, am all out for a true democratic polity not only in Libya but in all other Muslim lands including our own. But democracy or no democracy, it’s purely an affair between the people and Muammar Qaddafi, for a democracy imposed through the hidden agendas of the Pentagon like the one they have had here in Pakistan, a sham democracy erected on the infamous NRO signed between the former dictator Musharraf and the Pakistan Peoples Party. The NRO has though been repealed through an amendment but unfortunately the artificial setup that was forged in Dubai where the prime mover was one of the neocons in George W. Bush administration, former US ambassador in Kabul [who is interestingly of Afghan descent] Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad. The US orchestrated regime that we have in Pakistan now or the one we had been having prior to the present Zardari Gilani duo, has plunged this country into an abyss. I pray to Allah Almighty the people of Libya are spared this tragedy. But as it is always, Allah helps those who help themselves, the people of Libya particularly who are out on the streets fighting the tyrant, must understand, for them it is a choice between the deep blue sea and the devil, they should accept any of the two. Worst option will be to ask for democracy through an outside force which means there would be a sham democracy in Libya as the one we have here in our land of the pure.

You might also like

1. Mu’ummar Qaddafi: Recollections Of My Life 2. The man who knows Gaddafi’s secrets 3. ‘Obama’s mediaeval call for Jehad into Libya’  … Putin 4. Gaddafi’s curse keeps haunting Washington 5. Behind the 2011 Orgy of Destabilizations – [6 of 6] 6. A New Crusade 7. Expect hundreds of tribes with flags to appear from MENA to Africa to China in Time…. 8. He’s back! Gadaffi redux may cause lots of red faces 9.Straw to break the camel’s back 10. Libya: How Gaddafi became a Western-backed dictator 11. Gadaffi: Crazy Like A Fox 12. Mr. Qadhafi’s Half Truth



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Published in: on 17/04/2011 at 10:48 am  Comments (4)  
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If can’t solve problem, find fault with others

Osama bin Laden
Like the archenemy Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s book 1984, we can always expect the news about this man being alive and a serious threat to the society. The men in White House want to give him eternal life in the collective consciousness. Whether he really is dead or alive, we will have to go to media other than those directed by the Establishment.

Bullseye on Pakistan

Khaleej Times Editorial

THE United States does its war-on-terror profile no favours by constantly repeating charges that Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omer continue to operate from within Pakistani territory, especially since the long years since the ouster of the Taleban have not seen Washington forward any credible evidence to back the claim.

It is interesting to note that occupation forces’ fortunes in Afghanistan have been at a much lower level than before, each time this accusation has surfaced, the latest incident being no different.

It is no secret that both the Afghan and Iraq chapters of the terror-war have been effectively lost. So much as holding the status quo at present means constant hemorrhaging of life and material, which does not speak very highly of the world’s mightiest military machine’s credentials when faced with rag-tag urban guerilla insurgencies. As things stand in Afghanistan, America is near to abandoned by its own NATO allies, who refuse to commit more troops to take further flack from Washington’s failed war strategy.

Criticising Pakistan’s efforts at this juncture, that too without proof, is ill-advised. Washington should note that Islamabad has clearly done more than any other ally since 9/11, committing its own troops in operations inside its own borders, which has come with serious domestic political, social and economic spillovers. Ex President Musharraf has had his share of problems on the domestic political landscape, but those, too, owe in no small manner to his “unstinted support” to Washington’s post 9/11 policy.

It is difficult to question critics’ assertion that a good reason for both Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omer slipping away was Washington’s over confidence as it quickly turned to Baghdad once Kabul fell. In doing so, its material constraints meant both endeavours were approached with half-hearted sincerity. And once the Afghanistan situation started worsening, America did not exercise prudence by bolstering its military presence there, instead resorting to the endless blame game that serves only to betray frustration on its part.

Pakistan has already risked serious threat to its federation by indulging wholeheartedly in America’s game in the region. And as Afghan militias are in the process of bleeding yet another superpower that waged war on them, America should seek to strengthen Pakistan’s position instead of creating fissures and rifts. If they have proof of Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership operating in Pakistan, they should make haste in sharing ‘actionable intelligence’ with Pakistani authorities. Short of that, they should stop making accusations that serve only to splinter the already shaking coalition.


Source: Sudhan
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.



Thar’s Plight – 2

The water from wells is said to have dangerously high levels of salts while studies have confirmed that underground wells in parts of the region have amounts of fluoride far above safety levels. —Photo by Aroosa Masroor

Thars’ thirst for clean water

Dawn Editorial

THE lack of access to clean drinking water and proper health facilities has made the residents of Thar vulnerable to disease. Though this sad state of affairs is not unfamiliar to many in Pakistan the situation in Sindh’s Tharparkar district is particularly alarming.
The residents of this arid, under-developed and remote area of the country have no option but to draw water from wells or store rainwater.The water from wells is said to have dangerously high levels of salts while studies have confirmed that underground wells in parts of the region have amounts of fluoride far above safety levels. Also, experts have warned that storing rainwater may lead to epidemics of gastroenteritis and other water-borne ailments. The effect of drinking impure water has led to health conditions such as bone deformity amongst the residents of Thar. The problem is so widespread that in some villages nearly every family has a member suffering from such ailments. Some Tharis have been suffering for the last three decades, yet this health disorder was first diagnosed in 2004. Sadly, the local health authorities are mostly in the dark about the plight of the affected persons.
It is time the authorities turned their attention to this forsaken area. Apart from disease, parts of Thar have been declared calamity-hit due to drought and hunger. The Sindh health department recently took action when reports emerged in the media of ailments afflicting children in fishing villages on the outskirts of Karachi. Similar action must be taken in Thar. In the short term the government needs to provide Tharis with immediate medical attention. In the long term the provision of a dependable supply of clean drinking water to the area and the establishment of functioning medical facilities in Thar must be made the priority of the provincial and federal governments.



Published in: on 13/01/2010 at 8:02 pm  Comments (2)  

The IDP’s of Swat and our Super Rich


by Nayyar Hashmey

There are individuals, families, cartels, feudal landlords in Pakistan – who have amassed huge amounts of wealth, some legally but unfairly, others illegally as well as unfairly and many pounced upon the national exchequer merely because of absence of representative institutions, the institutions that could check the largesse of people in power. If they just could visualize, had there been no Pakistan, could they have ever been able to do this? For here in this land they have had no competition from a multitude of counterparts in the form of competitors in business, politics and other walks of life, were they to compete then in a huge sub continental market. They must thank this country that enabled them get rich so soon so easily.
It is time now they bring in their billions of dollars rotting in Swiss and offshore banks. Nobody asks them to distribute it amongst the poor of Pakistan but we only beg of them to bring this money and other assets back to Pakistan to whom it belongs. Even if they donate a chunk of their wealth to the poor and needy, the IDP’s of Swat, the refugees without the refuge of a home in their own homeland, it would definitely ameliorate the pathetic conditions our brothers, our pleasant faced, ever smiling hosts from the paradise of Swat are in, nowadays. This will be a proof of their love for Pakistan; love for their vote bank that brought them into power. Rest of their billions can remain within Pakistani banks as part of the national reserves.
Believe it or not but am certain, we won’t be needing to move around with a begging bowl in our hands. They should know the bitterest fact that beggars are never the choosers. Whatever they receive, whether in form of loans, grants, by the shylocks of world’s financial empires or the so called friends of Pakistan, it’s always tied with certain ‘terms and conditions’.
These terms are sometimes directly specified but mostly they are, not specified but implied. And in our case these terms are mostly one sided i.e. suiting the donors, why then opt for a money that ‘clips our wings’. I know it’s difficult especially for the people who became super rich through shortcuts (including large land holdings, blackmailing, indulging in drug businesses, over profiteering with monopolies offered to them through protections at the cost of consumers and other dubious means.
(Left) Bill Gates, the IT Wizard turned billionaire – has donated half of his income fror welfare.
Perhaps that’s the reason we don’t have amongst us the Bill Gates who through sheer intellect, and hard work make billions of dollars and then dole out half of that for welfare of poor and needy.
Can’t they learn even from Abdul Sattar Edhi who proudly says, even if I have to beg I will beg it from my own people, my own country. Why should I go to others when I have millions of Pakistanis who dole out part of their incomes (and they are mostly in the middle and lower income brackets of the society) and he says his people, the rich, the poor Pakistani brethren never disappoint him. They fill the begging bowl not of a beggar but of a derwaish, a living saint, a fakir who has devoted himself to serve, serve and serve.
If Pakistani expatriates, the Pakistani Diaspora, the common Pakistanis can do it, why can’t they and this includes the Zardaris, Sharifs, Chaudharis, Hotis, the billionaires in business and the feudal lords of Punjab and Sindh, the civil and military bureaucrats turned tycoons. They can learn something at least from this old man in Kurta, pajama with a white beard, a true Mujahid amongst us!

Published in: on 02/07/2009 at 10:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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Tourrism not Terrorism


              ♦ Pakistan can sustain its economy only by promoting tourism.
              ♦ Once normalcy is restored, this country has tremendous potential to become an economic hub of tourism. Its history and heritage alone are fabulously rich – to lure international tourists to this land of immense beauty.
              ♦ The electricity and gas crunches have crippled our textile industry the main source of export earnings and employment provider in this country.

 The end of January, the starting month of the year, the coldest one is ending now. A change in the air is coming. Trees will soon be loaded with fresh green. Multi colored flowers – many with a mosaic of beautiful patterns will open up to fill the airs with a sweet fragrance. The whole ambience all over the country will wear a cool, green and fresh look of spring.

Simultaneously in the months to come, the vales of Swat and the rugged mountains of federally administered areas in our tribal belt will welcome the spring with ear shattering cannon shots. In return shall come again the gun shots. The point is – who is getting killed? If a soldier of the Pakistan army or a paramilitary sepoy loses life, it is the blood of a Pakistani that is spilled on the sacred soil of Pakistan. Again if an unarmed civilian tribal from the other side is killed, it’s the blood of our own country man. Dilemma before us is that guns and the drones do not precisely differentiate between a terrorist and a peaceful civilian living nearby.

Why can’t we understand, in this modern age when technology has reached its zenith, when information revolution has taken the whole world like a storm, we in Pakistan are fighting along with the US, a war which seems to have no end. We should not overlook the very fact that a Pakistani can never be and should never be the enemy of another Pakistani? Our common enemy at the moment is terrorism. And this very enemy is working against acceptability of our country as a modern democratic entity which has endless beauty to offer to its visitors. But alas! With firing of guns, and people getting killed through bomb blasts, would a foreign guest ever think of coming to Pakistan risking his / her life!

It is the time, we as a nation should think, should ponder over the core question: how can we make this land of ours a land of peace, tranquility, a secure and a leisure-full vacationing land so that the endless touristic wonders that we have can be properly marketed to the outside world as an ideal place to visit, for a land infested with wars, extreme polarizations in political and social culture, with acute lawlessness all over, who would ever dare to enter this land just to view such touristic splendors.

 We could perhaps go a step further.  Why not initiate a nationwide dialogue amongst all stakeholders on one point agendum only: “Tourism not Terrorism” will henceforth be the creed, the philosophy and the dictum of Pakistan. Once we succeed to achieve this, we would be leaving a prideful legacy not only for our coming generations but may see happy days in our lifetime as well.

By promoting tourism, not only do we offer a wholesome environment to international guests, to see the real beauty of the country, the hospitality of its people but also succeed to wash our image as  a nation abetting terrorism. (Wrong though, unfortunately this is the image we have).

Published in: on 31/01/2009 at 2:40 pm  Comments (5)  
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